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Busting the myth! Cold calling is dead

Have you been cold calling your prospects and reaching nowhere? 

Well, let’s put yourself in the shoes of the receiver for a moment. 

If you received approximately 5-6 cold calls in a day, how many would you actually receive? If you picked up the call, would you be willing to listen to their pitch? 

Did you know that it takes 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect? Yes, that’s the average number of cold calls you need to make. So, if you’ve been giving up after just one call, you have just discovered the biggest error that you made. 

Communication isn’t what it used to be earlier. Before one or two decades, we relied highly on phones. Now, we have different means of communicating, such as messaging applications, video calling, emails outreach, etc. 

The myth “Cold calling is dead” has been circulating in the industry for years, and for the right reasons, even our marketing strategies have evolved. 

However, giving up on an effective cold outreach practice because of a myth is also not fair.   

So, this week, I reached out to 7 sales experts and asked for insight on this myth and whether they think it’s true or not. 

Is cold calling really dead? Let’s hear from the industry experts! 

  1. Alina Clark
  2. Dawn Landry
  3. Jonathan Saeidian
  4. Andrew Fiebert
  5. Ewen Finser
  6. Vignesh Wadarajan
  7. Andrei Breaz

1. Alina Clark

Co-Founder, CocoDoc 

By all means, the idea that cold-calling is dead is a lie unto itself. Cold-calling is not dead. The only thing that has changed about cold calling is how it’s done, and the results from a cold calling campaign.  

Salespeople who make truly cold calls- calls where you know absolutely nothing about the prospect are the ones on the receiving end of the cold calling downs. In today’s world, there’s really no need of calling someone if you don’t know anything about them. Having customer data, and massive personalization has made cold calling different but not dead.   

The use of data has tuned most of the cold calling into some form of mild warm-calling. For marketers, knowing something about the prospect helps build rapport and authentic connections. In the past, cold calling was a “from-the-scratch” process, but not anymore. While the original cold calling, where salespeople went in blind, is dead, but there’s a new form of calling in place of it. 

2. Dawn Landry

Founder, Authentizity 

The answer to this question depends upon your definition of “cold calling”; it also depends upon the company’s type of sales/business development. Is it B2C? B2B? 

I started my career with the true definition of yellow page and door-to-door cold calling in the B2B, service-based industry. If that is the market sector that you are speaking of, then yes. Cold calling is dead. 

For sustainable success, business development is relational and not transactional. 

3. Jonathan Saeidian

Founder & CEO, Brenton Way 

Cold calls are far from being dead. Yes! Optimized and scripted calls could help productivity, but personalized cold calls work best all the time. You might see it as inactive only because you are doing it wrong; you should learn how to use it to be alive and effective. It won’t suck if your calls sound sincere and show personalization. Never equate cold calls to boring calls, they are different. You can make your cold calls more alive and effective to generate more leads.   

4. Andrew Fiebert 

Founder & CEO, Lasso 

I agree that “cold calling is dead.” Many people nowadays simply won’t pick up the phone if it’s a number they don’t recognize, and they aren’t likely to listen to a voicemail that’s left either. Even if they do pick up or listen to your message, they won’t necessarily trust you or your product as they have nothing else to reference and can’t be sure it’s not just spam. 

In contrast, a cold email works better because you can provide more information about your product or service and prove your authenticity via the email address it was sent from. They can easily click on a link to learn more, rather than having to hang up the phone then manually search for your business.  

5. Ewen Finser

CEO, The Digital Merchant 

Cold calling is NOT dead. If it is, you can also consider all unsolicited communications as dead, like email campaigns and pop-up advertisements. The effectiveness of cold calling only boils down to two things: 

  • Who are you calling? The pre-qualifications before doing a cold call are very crucial. Make sure to do your homework before hitting that call button. So, ask yourself, does this person really need my product or services? Is this the right person to speak about our product?  
  • How can I make this person’s life better? Once you have found the right prospect, the next thing you need to ask is how you can create value for them. If your main goal for cold calling is only to sell, consider your campaign a failure. The main objective of cold calling goes beyond selling. It should be establishing an engaging and worthwhile conversation with your prospect. Relationships and genuine connections are prerequisites if you want to create value for your prospects.

Cold calling still works. You have to do it right. Also, you have to know the risks, and you must be willing to accept the process that it’s always a “you win some, you lose some” game. 

6. Vignesh Wadarajan

Founder & Marketer, Ninjaos 

Well, I don’t think that cold calling is dead, but it is dead to those: – 

1) Who does the cold calls in the same way as people did in the 2000s.

2) Who don’t strategize their cold calls and don’t figure out their prospects.

Cold calling only works: – 

1) If you pitch to proper prospects. This doesn’t mean that you can call any business with a phone number on their website. 

2) If you contact the right person. Don’t expect to land clients if you’re always calling the wrong person to make any decision. 

3) If your services align with what the client needs (or) want. Stop assuming that most of the businesses need your service, it is only a few who would actually need your service. 

7. Andrei Breaz 

Founder, Bant.io 

Actually, you’re better off targeting some very specific data segments through cold calling campaigns than the more modern channels. However, we must realize that the phone is also not what it used to be 20 years ago. It has massively evolved, and so have the channels used for cold campaigns. There is now Email outreach, social outreach, Text messages, WhatsApp, etc. 

And while cold campaigns might seem an uphill battle sometimes, that is only because many salespeople still expect prospects to convert after the first touch, when in fact we should be trying to establish a connection, build rapport, and add value first. Phone calls alone can be effective in many cases, but leveraging multi-touch and cross-channel approaches is essential for effective campaigns. So, if we’re still referring to cold calling as the single touch approach, one phone call – one sale, then yes, that has definitely died. 

Conclusion 

Based on the responses of our interviewed experts, it’s sufficed to say that cold calling is still effective and it’s far from being dead. 

Yes, you certainly need to implement advanced outreach strategies if you want to remain at the top of the competition. But, even if you use only cold calling as an outreach strategy, that can also work in your favor. 

Dhara Thakkar

Dhara Thakkar is a seasoned marketer at Salesmate. She thrives on trying new organic strategies to improve traffic & conversions, and has in-depth knowledge on how search works. When she's not working, you will find her travelling or binge watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S

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